Video game article.pdf - Grade 7 Scoring Sampler Passage...

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Grade 7 Scoring Sampler Passage Set and Prompt Copyright ® 2015. All rights reserved. 1 Read the “Do Video Games Have a Major Effect on Players’ Physical Health?” passage set. Do Video Games Have a Major Effect on Players’ Physical Health? Source 1: Action-Packed Video Games a Sight for Sore Eyes by Lisa Stein Could it be? Could playing video games . . . be good for something? Studies have linked nonstop video gaming to such ills as carpal tunnel syndrome 1 and tennis elbow, not to mention the current obesity epidemic plaguing this nation’s young. On the positive side, some research has shown that playing video games can improve eye-hand coordination and visual attention—the ability to search for a target in a jungle of objects, to monitor several items at once, and to keep track of a steady stream of objects zipping swiftly by. And now comes more good news for video game aficionados. 2 A new study . . . in the journal Psychological Science , shows that playing fast-paced, action-filled video games significantly sharpens vision . . . . The reason? “Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information,” says study author Daphne Bavelier, noting that after just 30 hours, video gamers showed “a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision.” Translation: “They could see figures like those way down on an eye chart more clearly,” she says, “even when other symbols crowded in.” Bavelier, an associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says the findings are helping scientists design a way to aid people with amblyopic or “lazy” eye. 3 . . . “We think action video game playing trains the same part of the visual cortex (located in the back of the brain) as that which has a dysfunction 4 in people with lazy eye,” Bavelier says. “This is showing us a new path forward for rehabilitation with these games . . . .” She notes that researchers were surprised by the findings, because it was previously believed that the adult visual cortex could not easily be retrained or taught new things. And yet, the results indicate that is exactly what happened. . . . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 carpal tunnel syndrome: an injury to a nerve in the wrist 2 aficionados: people who really enjoy something 3 “lazy” eye: reduced vision in one eye caused when the brain and eye do not work together properly 4 dysfunction: the state of not working properly
Grade 7 Scoring Sampler Passage Set and Prompt Copyright ® 2015. All rights reserved. 2 But lest you think that is an excuse to start playing video games all the time— forget it. “There’s more to life than vision,” Bavelier chuckles. Besides, she notes, obsessive play will not necessarily lead to benefits, even in people with lazy eye. “It needs to be done properly,” she says about integrating video games into a treatment plan. “Usually people only have one amblyopic eye. We need to train the bad eye to become better, and the two eyes need to work together.”

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